Poorer people 'can no longer afford to rent in central London'

by Sarah Ashcroft

Some of the poorer families and individuals in society are now unable to rent somewhere to live in central London.

That is the finding of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), which explained that welfare reform is driving a number of people out of private rented housing in some parts of the capital.

It analysed government figures and found that the combination of rising rents and local housing allowance reforms have resulted in more people around the country claiming benefits.

In stark contrast to this, the number of people claiming such support in two boroughs of London has actually fallen considerably.

While the number of private sector claimants in the UK as a whole rose by 6.4 per cent between March 2011 and November last year, it decreased by 27.6 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea and fell by almost a third in Westminster.

CIH chief executive Grainia Long said: "The combined impact of high rents and local housing allowance reform means that poorer families are effectively being priced out of the private rented sector in some areas of London."

She went on to explain that her biggest concern now is where all the families who are being driven out of such areas are going to end up, as social housing is at a premium across London.

As such, some people might be forced to move a long way away from where they work in order to afford a home, which in turn will make it more difficult for them to hold down their job and maintain relations with their family and friends.

Of course, rent rises are good news for landlords, who stand to make a healthy return on properties in many parts of the country at the moment.

Ms Long added that some areas of London are now becoming the preserve of the wealthy elite, while poorer families move elsewhere.

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Published on: April 29, 2014

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